Michael Drinkard

donated 2018-10-12 19:44:24 -0400

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NYC Needs a Comprehensive Snow-Removal Policy

Yesterday's snowfall – while thankfully not the blizzard that many outlets predicted – served as yet another reminder that New York City lacks a comprehensive system for clearing snow from intersections, crosswalks and catch basins.

SlushPuddleNYT.jpgWhile the Department of Sanitation did its usual yeoman's job of plowing and salting the city's streets, too much of that plowed snow ends up creating headaches for pedestrians, and for less able-bodied New Yorkers, dangerous and impassable obstacles.

As LTV Squad's Joseph Anastasio pointed out a year ago, snow removal at intersections falls into a responsibility black hole, and too many property owners skip shoveling their sidewalks because fines are low and enforcement is almost nil. He offers up a plan that largely puts the onus on the citizenry, which may or may not be the best plan – but at least it's a plan! And here are three suggestions from Streetsblog's Ben Fried for improving upon the current situation.

Given its role in creating laws, the City Council needs to tackle this nagging problem head-on. Sign the petition to ask the Council to initiate a comprehensive plan for improving snow removal in New York City.

246 signatures

Petition

To the New York City Council:

New York City needs a comprehensive snow-removal policy!

While the Department of Sanitation does an excellent job of plowing streets, the city has no equivalent process for clearing intersections, crosswalks and catch basins. We've all encountered mountains of snow and ponds of slush when simply trying to cross a street, but what's annoying for the nimble and able-bodied can be dangerous and impossible for the elderly, the disabled, young children or parents pushing strollers. Clear streets are not enough if they can't be crossed by pedestrians!

We, the undersigned, urge the Council's Transportation and Sanitation Committees to craft an overhaul to the laws governing snow removal.

Photo: Joshua Bright for The New York Times


commented on StreetsPAC Urges Public Funding for NYC Bike-Share System 2016-11-28 17:43:33 -0500 · Flag
Let’s absolutely subsidize NYC bike share commensurate to the $1.7 billion City subsidy to repair this 1.5 mile stretch of the BQE. “The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, has included the entire amount in the city’s 10-year capital plan.” It shouldn’t just be City Council fighting for bikeshare but realpolitik demands it, so put it in the city budget. And beef up sponsorship minimums.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/nyregion/dreaded-by-drivers-brooklyn-queens-expressway-is-set-for-repairs.html

signed StreetsPetition: Matthew von Ohlen 2016-11-02 15:39:52 -0400

StreetsPetition: NYPD – Release Details of the Investigation into the Death of Matthew von Ohlen

In the early hours of July 2, 2016, 35-year-old Matthew von Ohlen was struck and killed by the driver of a black, late-model Chevrolet Camaro as he was riding his bike home from work in Williamsburg's Grand Street bike lane. Police who reviewed surveillance video of the crash told WPIX TV that the driver appeared to slow down and steer into bike lane, intentionally striking von Ohlen before running over him and dragging him 30 feet, before speeding off. Von Ohlen died in the hospital not long after, the victim of severe trauma.

Four days later, the NYPD's 90th Precinct took to Twitter to announce that police had located the car involved in the crash. But that was the last public announcement made regarding the investigation into von Ohlen's death. More than four months have passed since.

The failure of the police to catch Matthew von Ohlen's killer fits a pattern. As Gothamist reports today, the NYPD has made arrests in just 34% of the fatal hit-and-run crashes that occurred in New York City between July 2015 and June 2016. When hit-and-run crashes in which the victim suffered an injury are included, the arrest rate drops to a meager 8%.

173 SIGNATURES
GOAL: 1,000 signatures

Petition

To NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill:vonohlennydn.jpg

Please order the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad and 90th Precinct to release updated information regarding the July 2, 2016 crash that killed Matthew von Ohlen.

Police told WPIX TV and other media that the driver who struck von Ohlen appeared to do so intentionally, slowing down before steering into the bike lane in which von Ohlen was riding, and then striking von Ohlen and dragging him for 30 feet before speeding off.

On July 6, the 90th Precinct announced via its Twitter account that the black Chevrolet Camaro involved in the crash had been located, but that is the last bit of information the public has received about the case. That's unacceptable.

It's time for the NYPD to bring the public up to speed on the investigation. To whom is the car registered? Who was driving the car? Why has no arrest been made?

Matthew von Ohlen's family, friends and colleagues – and the public at large – deserve to know.